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28 March 2020


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I'm sorry, I misspoke. I'll have to get a new translator.


We only have 750 U.S. troops in Iraq, hardly a massive presence.
Supposedly they're there to train & assist the Iraqi military &

If the Iranian presence is there to snuff out jihadis what's the
problem? What's Esper's rational? What am I not grasping here?


just reread the almasdar link so guess I kinda understand Esper's rational if it's based on solid intel. How many Iranian backed
troops are in Iraq? How does the Iraqi government feel about a
massive Iranian troop build up? Have they weighed in? Could this
result in a rekindling of the ole Iraq Iran war? Is sovereignty
important to these ppl?

Is Iran telling Iraq, Together we can drive the infidel army out?
Or is Iran wanting to conquer Iraq? This is difficult to penetrate
for my inexperienced brain.


Elaine - OSINT says about 150,000 Iraqi PMF. But not all of those are supported by Iran. And some of those Iranian supported groups are in Syria. A small percentage are Sunni.

With Covid19 hitting Iraq (42 dead) and the first Syrian confirmed dead from the virus, it is time we got out of there and brought the troops home. It is starting to spread in the ME. Deaths in Qatar where many USAF & USN are. There are also many cases popping up in Kuwait, KSA, and the UAE. Bring our people home.

Yeah, Right

"How many Iranian backed troops are in Iraq?"

This trope of "Iran-backed troops" is getting kind of old, don't you think?

It is like calling the German 1st Panzerdivision a bunch of "US-backed troops", or a bunch of Aussie infantrymen "US-backed troops".

These are Iraqi troops - militia in the Iraqi armed forces - and should be regarded as such. The "Iran-backed" label is cheap propaganda that is used in a way that would never be applied to allies of the United States even though it would be equally-applicable.


TTG et al

In the American system of government, active duty military people counsel the president/CinC on policy from a military view of the consequences of action, but they are not free to oppose that policy once the president has decided. This is because we accept the principle of control of the government by elected citizens. Nevertheless, the clear consequences of policies urged upon the president by hyper-nationalist swine are so bad that resort is made to informing the media of what is being contemplated. It is difficult to blame military leaders for that lapse from tradition.


Our basic failing is thinking everything is the same when it’s not. NY State vehicles are being pulled over out-of-state. In two weeks, the list will include CA, DC, FL, MD, LA, IL and WA. The USA did not conquer Iraq. It overthrew the Ba’ath Party, destroyed the Iraqi Army and left a decade later to return and fight the Sunni ISIS revolt. Now it wants a third war against veteran Iraqi government Shiite militia, a former ally that it fought alongside. Incredibly stupid is too mild a term.

DOD has stopped all military movement. On the USS Theodore Roosevelt 23 sailors have tested positive for coronavirus several days ago. The carrier is returning to port and all 5000 sailors will be tested. The virus is highly contagious and around 40% of the infected are asymptomatic. In NY State 15% are so sick they must be hospitalized. The armed forces will be hard pressed to test and quarantine all of the sick sailors, soldiers and marines to halt the epidemic and keep the rest of the troops uninfected. Not to mention all the military contractors in country on base. In WWII combat, the USA causality rate was 26.3%. Mankind and all the nations of the world are at war but the enemy is invisible. Sanctioning medical supplies and the continued regime change campaigns to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Iran at a time of a global pandemic is evil.

It will be months, if ever, before the USA will be able to fight another overseas war.



" NY State vehicles are being pulled over out-of-state."
The OK Boomers are not being pulled out of said vehicles and haulled off to jail. In Florida they are being given orders to go self quarantine, which they damn well should have done by staying in NY state. The same outrage from Cuomo and de Blasio is only a few days after tellling everyone (de Blasio) to go out and enjoy themselves downtown.

"Sanctioning medical supplies..."
Allowing a few million possibly infectous but assyptomatic people to go overseas,, withholding information, sending false information, sending defective medical devices, sanctioning needed medical supplies and engaging in a propaganda campaign against the West, that's what Communist China is doing. Yes it is evil.


Vietnam Vet,

Thank you for that. And I agree with you and TTG and all who think that this idea of some sort of 'surge' against Kataib Hezbollah, even while the pandemic threat still remains essentially a mystery --for example, how many variants of the coronavirus are out there?--is reckless and incredibly stupid. I would like to add that the USS Ronald Reagan, the Nimitz class carrier home-ported at Yokusuka, Japan is also under quarantine. In fact, the whole base has been locked down. And besides the problem of testing thousands of crew members, there is also the troubling question of cleansing the ship of COVID-19. That the virus might find a home not only in a ship, but also in an airplane, is causing concern in the Air Mobility Command. Recently, a contractor was air-lifted out of Camp Lemmonier, the drone base near Djibouti, to Germany, after falling ill. He did, in fact, have the virus, and now there is an ongoing discussion of how to protect the pilots and crews of the AMC. A lot of infected planes could become a real problem. It is a surprising fact that the US Navy moves thousands of sailors, not just by ship, but by airplane.

If there is a significant escalation of the conflict in Iraq, materiel and troops will have to be moved, surely by ship, to reinforce. One is reminded that in WWI there were remarkably low figures for American deaths in battle at sea; I think less than 1500. But there were 5,027 deaths in troop transports of army, navy, and marine personnel who were caught up in epidemics on board what came to be called "the Death ships." I think it is reasonable to assume that hundreds or even thousands of troops on board transports could still be at risk for onboard epidemics, even today. A few days ago the disease was spreading at an exponential rate on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which will now be docked at Guam for at least a month. Comments by crew members were strikingly pessimistic. And I think cleansing the ship is going to be a nightmare.

The elements of the 82nd Airborne recently moved into the Mespot theater, are also under lockdown. This is a rapid reaction team of some 1700 troops, I think, now actually pinned down for at least two months.

It is now impossible--or at least most unwise--for American forces to do what they were ostensibly sent to Iraq for, to train Iraqi government soldiers. How can you train somebody when you can't get within 24 feet of them, the new guide-lines? This virus could rip through an American unit in four or five days, and as the need builds to airlift the critical cases out to well-established medical centers, as at Landstuhl, something that has been routine for years becomes problematic when there is the question of one infection leading rapidly to another, with planes and finally bases and hospitals forced into quarantine and cleansing, and the virus then spreading into the community at large, with a general breakdown ensuing and a rising death rate. One notes that a prominent German finance minister of the German state of Hesse, Thomas Schaefer, has just committed suicide.

So I think one good reason for the pullback of American troops is simply that now it has become necessary to see what happens next. How long will it take for the virus to go away? Bearing in mind that the 1918 influenza went around twice, my guess is that the coronavirus will dissipate in the heat of late June or early July. But it will come back in October with a vengeance, and there will be a long deadly winter such as we have never seen.

I also think that this pandemic will change the United States Navy forever.


The "Iran-backed" label is cheap propaganda that is used in a way that would never be applied to allies of the United States even though it would be equally-applicable.
Posted by: Yeah, Right | 29 March 2020 at 05:15 PM

Fred: (TTG)”News reports that SecDef Esper has approved the new campaign or at least the planning for it.”
Planning, isn't that what planners do anyway?

Basically, I wish you the very best concerning your well-earned live savings. Besides this passage of your rant is more arbitrarily something I agree with.

TTG, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the rat bastards of the Borg. Trump should fire a few of them, I suggest starting with Esper.

Yes, yes, the Borg, the blob, it's ME'rn vs Easterm European angles. Iran, urgent, for Trump too, at least he claimed it was already in his 2016 Foreign Policy speech. China too. Let's leave out Russia here. That definitively may have been rhetorically (evil) elite occupied territory at the time.

I does'nt feel that Esper belongs to the villains in this case. And no, I don't have the least idea about him.

What really fascinated me in this more interesting exchange was, why was Esper surfacing so frequently?

Question: No doubt the basic theme that the NYT collective researched chooses to a recurring theme. Struggles in the administration. Even if we leave out the NYT's and others focus on such matters earlier ...

What would be your chosen passage in the NYT article TTG linked to in his quote?

Paul Merrell

Serge, the U.S. pulled out of K-1 a few days ago. https://www.rt.com/news/484429-american-troops-leave-kirkuk-iraq/



My life savings are doing quite nicely, thanks for the concern.

Barbara Ann


Re the USS Theodore Roosevelt, I just came across this:

“Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. ... This is a necessary risk,” Crozier [skipper of USS TR] wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”
I'm sure they'll go to war with the virus they have, if required to, but a war of choice under these conditions would be a brave call.



Barbara Ann,

I thought Captain Crozier had fallen on his sword. But acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modley has now said that the Navy chiefs are not in disagreement with him.

I think Navy construction battalions (CBs = 'Seabees', I am reminded) could throw up tent cities in the 'pierside' area that will work well. Or the Corps of Engineers. I looked at 'images' and there seems to be some green fields etc. near the piers. And there are other open areas on Guam for isolated tent facilities and field hospitals. And maybe take over a few hotels. Open air treatment on outdoor cots during the day, in front of isolation tents for the night, seems to have been successfully tried during the H1IN1 "Spanish" influenza in 1918.

My suspicion was that the authorities were alarmed that the virus could spread into the general population of the island bastion and were actually going to be ruthless enough to let that crew stew in its own juice...

This sensible response actually kinda cheered me up.

What next?



Thanks for your reply. In the clip Bud Abbott calls the tribal chief a Stinker, and then Lou Costello fools the chief into thinking Stinker is a term of respect. It is then when the Chief proudly proclaims: You bet you life. Me stinkah.

And this reminds you of President Trump? For you, he is just some retarded fool who any moron can fool about anything?

You also seem to think that a Federal leader giving the State leaders the responsibility to lead their states is some kind of defect. That is the United States form of government. I remain mystified by your comments.



Correction. Lou Costello calls the chief a stinker. But Abbott tells the chief stinker is a term of respect. It's been a long time since I've seen their movies.

The Twisted Genius


Fred is not equating Trump with anybody. I am equating Trump with that adulation seeking island chief. Stroking Trump's ego seems to be the only way to convince him of anything. Other than that he relies on his own gut which has served his fairly well throughout his career.

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